tech·​ni·​cal·​i·​ty | \ ˌtek-nə-ˈka-lə-tē How to pronounce technicality (audio) \
plural technicalities

Definition of technicality

1 : something technical especially : a detail meaningful only to a specialist a legal technicality
2 : the quality or state of being technical

Examples of technicality in a Sentence

These cases were dropped because of legal technicalities.
Recent Examples on the Web Some Arizona bars bolstered existing food menus, while others stocked up on chips, pretzels and peanuts to sell in order to take advantage of the technicality. Tirion Morris, The Arizona Republic, "It's '1 step up and 2 steps back' for Arizona bar owners. Here's why some are holding out," 9 July 2020 The reason comes down to a technicality: the schedule for paying out unemployment benefits. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, "Extra $600 in pandemic unemployment aid may end a week early for some," 1 July 2020 The justice that took far too many decades to come afterward should not be discounted on a technicality, but just so Bill Cosby and his supporters understand, a turnover won’t remove the stains from his legacy. Michael Arceneaux, Essence, "Bill Cosby Can't Save His Legacy," 1 July 2020 However, his case was dropped due to a technicality over dates, which brought criticism from other athletes. Aleks Klosok And Ben Church, CNN, "Sprint star Christian Coleman hits back after being provisionally suspended over missed drug test," 17 June 2020 The technicality apparently led to confusion, with some states mistakenly listing July 31 as the end date, including New York. Coral Murphy, USA TODAY, "Think that extra $600 in unemployment benefits will last until the end of July? Think again.," 25 June 2020 He was rejected on a technicality, but his willingness to risk harassment and threats for racial justice caught the eye of national NAACP leadership; he was soon hired as the organization’s first field secretary in Mississippi. Erin Blakemore, National Geographic, "How the assassination of Medgar Evers galvanized the civil rights movement," 12 June 2020 Mayor Ted Wheeler then voted no as a technicality to buy the council time to reconsider the budget. oregonlive, "Portland City Council fails to agree on police spending, will revote on budget next week," 12 June 2020 Molibeli said the former first lady is back behind bars on a technicality because the prosecution was not allowed to make arguments opposing her bail during the hearing. Nyasha Chingono, CNN, "Former Lesotho first lady re-arrested for killing of husband's ex-wife," 3 June 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'technicality.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of technicality

1764, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for technicality

technical entry 1 + -ity

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Time Traveler for technicality

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The first known use of technicality was in 1764

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Last Updated

12 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Technicality.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for technicality


How to pronounce technicality (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of technicality

: a small detail in a rule, law, etc., and especially one that forces an unwanted or unexpected result
: something that is understood by experts but usually not by other people


tech·​ni·​cal·​i·​ty | \ ˌtek-nə-ˈka-lə-tē How to pronounce technicality (audio) \
plural technicalities

Kids Definition of technicality

: something that is understood only by a person with special training a legal technicality

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More from Merriam-Webster on technicality

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for technicality

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with technicality

Spanish Central: Translation of technicality

Nglish: Translation of technicality for Spanish Speakers

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